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Facebook blocks more than 1,000 fake accounts in March


 Facebook blocks more than 1,000 fake accounts in March

Facebook closed more than 1,000 fake accounts in March, including hundreds of accounts that were linked to a network of trolls in Albania.

Facebook blocks more than 1,000 fake accounts in March

The company shared the removals as part of its monthly report on coordinated unoriginal behavior across the platform.

Facebook identified in its report 14 different networks of fake accounts that were removed during the month of March.

The fake accounts originated in a number of countries, including Iran, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Egypt, Israel, Benin, Georgia, Comoros, and El Salvador.

The company notes that most of these accounts were not successful, and many accounts were removed before it was able to gather a large number of followers.

  • “We see this pattern on an ongoing basis as actors try to use these tactics to manipulate public discussions across our platform and outside of our broad online platform,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Safety Policy at Facebook.

  • He added: We see that these actors are getting less and less traction due to the defensive efforts of the teams, not only through Facebook, but throughout the industry, and in civil and government society.

  • Facebook has also separated its investigation into the Albanian Phishing Network, which manages 128 accounts on Facebook and 146 pages on Instagram.
The company said it had linked the network to an Iranian militant group in exile that is now based in Albania, and the fake accounts primarily targeted Iran as well as global audiences with the content related to Iran and made a special effort to attract its followers to sites linked to militant groups.

 The accounts gained about 9,000 followers on Facebook and 112,000 via Instagram, and the social media platform says: The accounts were more active in 2017, but saw an increase in activity during the second half of last year.

The company notes that its investigation revealed several defining features of the network indicating that the activity was all coming from one place.

  • Ben Nimmo, Head of Global Threat Intelligence Strategy at Facebook, said: “All accounts publish regularly on a schedule with a sudden high in the morning and evening and low in the middle of the day with what appears to be a lunch break.

  • He added: When you combine the pattern of daily posting with the way accounts are technically linked, it feels like a team of trolls working in hot offices.